Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Chief Economist Joseph Glauber on “Agriculture: Tomorrow’s Power”

For more than 65 years, the Oxford Farming Conference has built up a reputation as the most important of its kind in the UK and Europe. And this year, USDA Chief Economist Dr. Joseph Glauber will speak on the outlook for agriculture in light of the major global, climate and resource challenges facing agricultural producers over the next 40 years.

His presentation will occur during the meeting’s first session titled “Farming’s Place in an Uncertain World” on Wednesday January 4th. The 2012 conference will be held on the January 3-4-5 at the Examination Schools at Oxford University, Oxford, England. Read more »

“We Can’t Wait” to Improve Infrastructure

Today, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced critical investments in our nation’s infrastructure. Specifically, 46 transportation projects in 33 states and Puerto Rico will receive funding that will help support local communities and drive a nation-wide economic recovery.  These grants are steps this Administration is taking now to create jobs, repair our crumbling transportation systems, and make sure our economy continues to grow.

At USDA we are particularly excited about the announcement because $150 million will go to critical projects in rural areas. These investments will help boost economic development and make rural communities more attractive for businesses. Especially in rural areas, our transportation systems have gone too long without repair.  By improving our bridges, transit, freight, and ports, we’ll support agriculture jobs and make trucking of goods faster and more efficient for our farmers and ranchers. Read more »

Winter …The Perfect Time to Visit a Farmers Market

A winter market in Rochester, NY.  There are more than 1,200 operating winter farmers markets across the nation. You can find a market near you by using the USDA National Farmers Market Directory.

A winter market in Rochester, NY. There are more than 1,200 operating winter farmers markets across the nation. You can find a market near you by using the USDA National Farmers Market Directory.

Traditionally, the onset of winter meant the end of farmers market season. However, in recent years, winter farmers markets have become increasingly popular. According to the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), there are over 1,200 of these farmers markets operating across the country. This is almost a 38 percent increase from last year. Read more »

Expanding Wildlife Habitat on Private Lands

Forest undercover where invasive species have been removed.

Forest undercover where invasive species have been removed.

Joe and Jon Higgins are brothers who are working with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to improve the environmental quality of the 36 acres of land they share in Pomfret, Connecticut. Read more »

Payroll Tax Cuts – Now is the Time for Congress to Act

We’re getting down to the wire. Congress has until December 31, to pass the Payroll Tax Cut or 160 million Americans will see their taxes go up on January 1st and the typical middle class family will see a tax hike of about $1,000 in 2012.

This isn’t a time for politics.  This payroll tax cut is about the economy and how we can take steps now to get our economy on strong footing.  It will make a real difference to working Americans.  It will help families pay the bills.  And it is the right thing to do. Read more »

Renewable Energy: Creating Jobs In Rural Communities

Are there cost effective steps that rural communities can take to attract and grow competitive, sustainable energy-related businesses? That was the central question being examined by visiting members of the Organization for Economic and Community Development (OECD) during a series of meetings this fall hosted by USDA Rural Development in four states.

OECD economists and USDA staff met with state and local officials as well as non-profit research organizations and private businesses in Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon and Tennessee during October and November. The meetings examined the impact of federal and state investments in renewable energy production and the impact they have had on economic development in rural communities in recent years. Read more »